When I Miss You….


When I miss you… I don’t want to remember just the times when you held me in a long embrace and told me you loved me; but also the times when you shut me out of your world, leaving me deep in shame, wondering, “What did I do wrong?”

When I miss you… I don’t want to remember only the times you told me you were ready for a long-term commitment. I want to recall the memory of you asking to look at rings and casually bringing up your doubts as to whether you wanted to marry me, words that broke my heart.

When I miss you… I don’t want to remember only the moments when I felt alive with you; I want to remember your harsh, judgmental words and resentments, as I was left a crumpling heap on the floor. I want to remember how your cruel insults left me feeling.

When I miss you… I don’t want to remember the fleeting fun times we had together in isolation of the times I walked on egg shells to spare you from anxiety, stress, and talk of commitment.

When I miss you… I want to remember that I was too much for you– too much passion, energy, and emotion. I want to remember how overwhelmed and stressed you felt when I acted like me… so I learned to push myself to the side and pretend to be the person you wanted me to be.

When I miss you… I want to remember your lies and manipulations. I want to remember my realization that to be with you, I would have to live with an emotionally barren, unfulfilling relationship because you didn’t know how to affirm or care for me.

When I miss you… I want to remember the times I cried and screamed into my pillow about how I wish you could be different. I want to remember the heartbreak and reality of on-again, off-again, and on, and on, and on. How I felt tepid, lukewarm in your eyes; a back up option; the person you could fall back on when you were lonely.

When I miss you… I want to remember what I deserve: an emotionally stable, warm, welcoming, compassionate, loving, and selfless man who will laugh at my absurd humor and kiss me just for being me. I don’t want to have to pretend, censor, and shield anyone from the truth of who I am, nor do I want to feel physically objectified.

When I miss you… I don’t want to just remember that I believed you were “The One.” I want to draw on the reality that “The One” would not treat me like you did. “The One” would not disconnect and withdraw when life got hard. “The One” would fight for me and love me through it all. You were someone I once loved, but that goes no further. You are my past, but not my future.

When I miss you… I want to remember that I miss the idea of you rather than you. I loved the person I thought you were, rather the person you ended up being. Even when I was convinced that you had changed, I want to remember the realization that you hadn’t.

When I miss you… I will honor that feeling, but I will not dwell in it, because you were not and never will be “The One,” even if I believed that for a while.


Almost Lover


As a girl, I never fantasized about my wedding because I believed I would never have one: because at my core, I was unlovable. After years of “binge dating” and a string of semi-serious relationships as a young adult, I found that no guy was ever good enough. Little things would bother me after a while, and I would shut myself away and go back to being alone.

On a string of platonic, unmemorable dates from guys I met online, I agreed to go out with a guy whose first email to me included the subject line, “I also like cheese.” I thought it was funny. (However, the enigma remains: why I would put the fact that I like cheese on my dating site profile? Whatever). I decided he was worth a coffee date because let’s be honest, cheese is pretty great. So on a Saturday afternoon in May two years ago, I met up with this guy, my expectations way low.

I knew there was something special about Boy on our first date. We had crazy chemistry that words could not describe. Things happened fast. Before I knew it, Colbie Caillat songs became my Spotify staples. I fell hard, and I fell fast.

I am not a spontaneous person. I am more of a “let’s plan everything 6 months in advance” type of person. But with Boy, things were different. I didn’t cling to my 10 PM bedtime. In fact, we stayed out all hours of the night. We kissed in the rain and in restaurants… and well, everywhere. We were infatuated and passionate, in the most cliche, characteristic sense of the word.

This is not me, I kept thinking. I don’t fall for people like this. I’m not this person.

I was not “that person” who would grab my boyfriend’s hand and giggle like a 13-year-old at his jokes.

But with Boy, I was that person. I was that happy, touchy, worry-free blushing girl. I would have dropped everything and gone somewhere with him. I was head over heels, mad, drunk in love. It was “that can’t eat, can’t sleep, reach for the stars, over the fence, world series kind of love.”


By our second date, I had no doubts that I would end up marrying Boy. I let him into all crevices of my being, and I thought he was letting me into his as well.

Due to childhood Disney indoctrination, I knew how this story was supposed to go. Boy and Girl meet. Boy and Girl fall in love. Boy and Girl face difficult circumstances, but they persevere because they are so in love. Boy and Girl live happily ever after.

But this Boy and this Girl did not live happily ever after.

In the same whirlwind that started our romance, the relationship I had with Boy ended suddenly and painfully. I was left reeling with the vacancy of passion and love that had become a welcome refuge.

I didn’t know how much I wanted love until I had it. Then when it was gone, I didn’t know how much I would miss it. Or how much it would physically hurt to have this relationship die. There was a void in my heart. I wanted love. I wanted him… or did I? I didn’t know what I wanted anymore.

I wrote this about a year ago:

“Boy came into my life, and he changed my world upside down. I loved him for a short time, but I loved hard. Is it better to have loved and lost, as the old saying goes, or is it better not to get a taste of this really good, beautiful thing because of the yearning that follows?”

When things ended with Boy, I wondered: Maybe that is it. Maybe this is my shot and happiness and love, and it’s over now. Perhaps I’ll never love again. We are never guaranteed love. I went on dates with other guys, but they were mindless and disappointing.

I never stopped thinking about Boy. I sent him drunk texts at weddings. I saw the beauty of the waves crashing on the Pacific Coast Highway and told him I still wanted him. Once I even texted him in the bathroom during a bad date.

And yet the stars didn’t align for us.

But the stars did align, two years later, and Boy came back into my life.

I thought we were more seasoned and mature. We talked about feelings and dreams and hopes and wishes. We set boundaries, and I thought the old issues that broke us apart would make us stronger.

I looked into his eyes, and I wondered: Is this it? How does someone know if a person is “The One”? Would our relationship be doomed because of the past?

As it turns out, the love that came back from the dead didn’t stay alive. Soon enough, our old issues resurfaced, and instead of reading the writing on the wall, I chose to ignore it and make new memories.

I wanted it to work. I fully invested in the relationship and embraced the unknown. But then, in a series of events that I cannot recount for boundaries and privacy, it was no longer healthy for either of us to remain in the relationship.

If I’m being honest, I feel like such an idiot.

Why didn’t I learn from my past mistakes? Why would I have put myself out there… again… with the same person… and expect different results?

And yet, I couldn’t have done it another way.

Love is not guaranteed, and sometimes love hurts and dies. But I know, deep down, that the struggle for love is innately human and the most worthwhile goal in life. Even though my self-protective side screams for me to be alone and safe, I know I must keep pursuing what I’ve always wanted: love.

I needed to know (again… and again… and again) what could have been, and now, I must move on with my life.

My inner voice tells me, Nobody could ever love you, not like this. You’re too messed up, and you ruined your one chance of love.

But then there is a part of me that wonders…

Maybe there will be fireworks again, and this time it will last.

Maybe someone will be able to say, “I want you and I choose you every day, and I will do that for the rest of our lives.

Maybe someone will love me with all of my faults and think, “How can I best express love to this girl?”

As I read in an article earlier this week: “If you must want; wait to be chosen every day, wait to be reminded that you are special, wait to be loved in the way that you constantly love, wait to be taken seriously and wait for someone who doesn’t keep you waiting, because you know that you deserve better than waiting around for someone to make up their mind.”

I was struck to the core with grief, but I’m also realistic enough to know when something shouldn’t be.

So in the words of a favorite song:

Goodbye, my almost lover
Goodbye, my hopeless dream
I’m trying not to think about you
Can’t you just let me be?
So long, my luckless romance
My back is turned on you
I should’ve known you’d bring me heartache
Almost lovers always do

Online Dating After Kissing a Few Frogs

Online dating… what even to say. How even to characterize this odd experience. I have been on a few online sites sporadically in the last few years, and it can be fun, but can we all agree that the experience can be a little weird? While I have met a few decent people online, I have also been inundated by far too many cliches (putting it nicely) but more frankly, bullshit.

Most guys look amazing in writing. I will introduce you to Stereotypical Online Dating Guy #1, Marcus (this person = totally made up, I’m not that mean). The online dating gods matched us together, and I am super pumped. He looks great in pictures (ahem, that were taken 10 years ago, ahem), and he seems like the sweetest. He likes sports and traveling. He is a laid back stud looking for a partner in crime, someone to whom he is attracted. But of course, the most important part of a girl is her character (Christian equivalent: “looking for a Proverbs 31 girl”).

What a cutie.

I finally meet up with Marcus. THE ANTICIPATED FIREWORKS.

Marcus ends up being… eh. Typical. Then I find out he likes John Piper. Dammit. An hour goes by and I keep checking my watch. Oh. my. goodness. could. time. go. slower. No sparks.

No offense to Marcus, he is very nice. Nothing against him. But online dating is a crap shoot. Most of the time it is fluffy meaninglessness and completely random.

I mean, does it even matter what I put on my profile? All I need to do is incorporate enough cliche mannerisms to get the Marcuses of online dating to contact me.

Is it just me, or is there something odd about how superficial the whole system is?

These guys all look the same. They talk of college football, travel, and their faith. And the weather. Oh God, the weather. “Wow, you lived in California, how do you like being in Michigan?” If I could have a dime for the number of times that statement has been uttered…. HOW ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO GET TO KNOW ANYONE BY TALKING ABOUT THE WEATHER?

I don’t know how any of these sites match people together. Personality characteristics, location, attributes desired in a partner– they all use imperfect heuristics that work marginally at best. (Caveat: It is oh so hard to measure compatibility. It’s not like I have a better idea on how to solve the online dating woes of a single 20-something girl. Just let me vent, okay???).

Online dating can work, I have seen it work. BUT it doesn’t work when everyone is so fake. But then to get dates you have to play the fake game. And so the crap shoot cycle of being paired with “travel… football… beer” Marcuses at random continues. How am I supposed to filter out if any of these people are worth my time?

Honestly, I am sick of being fake and censoring myself knowing that others are scrutinizing my words. For once, I want to be REAL on one of these sites. Or at least, if I’m going to make a profile composed of bullshit, it might as well be ridiculous (with a dash of truth).

SO, I have decided to make a (satirical) dating profile that I will never, ever post because to online date, you have to play the games and go through the hoops. Playing games –> not doing what I’m about to do. But I’m just saying, if it was socially acceptable to do this, I would.



About Me:

“Hi, thanks for reading this. I’m sorry if at any point this starts to be stereotypical or cliche, because my goal in life is to be anything but. Let me start with a few exclusionary factors right now. If you are cliche, enjoy puns, bubbly/ positive quotes, you can along to the next profile. Also, I am looking for a guy who likes or can come to like Rachel Held Evans. Similarly, you have to like Rob Bell in some capacity. I have broken up with someone over Rob Bell, I am totally not joking about this. If you’re not on board with Love Wins, that’s fine. Enjoying his early work will suffice. But you and Rob Bell must have some familiarity because I might want him to officiate any hypothetical wedding.

If you’re still reading, welcome. As you might guess, I am a theology nerd and Jesus feminist. If you whisper sweet nothings to me about Rob Bell or Time Keller, you will automatically be granted a second date. If Henri Nouwen is your favorite author, we might be soul mates.

I am like an angsty teenager who loves angsty teenage TV shows such as Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars. (If you are angsty, that is a plus. If you like to yell into the abyss during existential crises, that’s also a plus).

If I could eat only one food for the rest of my life, it would be Sour Patch Kids. Every few months, I get an intense spell of wanderlust. I have deep, intense feelings, and sometimes I cannot name them right away. However, my therapist can, so it’s all good. I am subtly hinting that I may have struggled with some mental health stuff in the past, but I’m going to be coy about it until date 6, at which time we shall lay our cards on the table.

I am an anxious perfectionist, which is exacerbated by excessive caffeine consumption. If I could be granted a magic wish, I would wish for unlimited Starbucks holiday drinks for the duration of my days. Or I might wish for the ability to teleport. Dammit why can’t people teleport yet?

If it ever comes to this, know that I want to be proposed two in one of two ways: at a Rob Bell event or at a NEDA walk. So, file that information away.”